Shit You Should Know

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bible Belt Abuse

Life here on the Sooner State (gag) is interesting to say the least.  Today I had an awkward moment with my landlord.  Out of the blue he asks me what is my families religious affiliation.  Knowing we live on the bible belt where there seems to be some sort of Christian church on every corner, we can't help but feel slightly out of place.
Let me back track a tad here...
My husband is atheist...cut and dry.  He sees things as black and white with zero room for that gray area I love so much.  Me, on the other hand, would consider myself more of an agnostic.  My husband would tell you I'm just a lazy atheist.  I believe that what a Christian sees as "god" is merely part of all of us and isn't some entity.  I do not believe there is a heaven or hell and we will not be judged in the hereafter.  I do, however, think all religions are based on some fact.  The fact being simply some uncivilized Neanderthals saw something in the sky they didn't understand and named it god.  Then as civilization progressed there came a need to control the populace and how do you do this?  You make up rules and say "god" wants you to follow these...much the same as parents do to their kids with Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.
Here's where the gray area comes into play.  Things like clairvoyance and spirits don't fall into the fiction category in my internal library.  While I think there are many kooks out there, I don't think they are all full of shit.
OK.  Fast forward...
Now do you see my dilemma?  We are here living on the bible belt.  We may as well be satanists in the eyes of these church-goers.  How in the hell am I supposed to explain this to my landlord without his entire church showing up to pass out tracks and do vigils on my front lawn?
All of these things are racing through my brain as I'm standing there dumbfounded with what I'm sure was a blank expression while he stands there staring at me waiting on a response.  Even though nanoseconds passed it felt like an hour.  I take a deep breath and I say, "Well, my husband is atheist." 
He replies with a simple head nod and an "Oh".  It was almost as if to say "Sorry to hear that.  He's going to hell." 
Now it's my turn to attempt to explain my end of the religious spectrum.  This ought to be a blasty blast!  Again, I breathe in deeply and reply, "I'm...well, I'm...".  My brain is on overload.  How do I even begin to explain the gray area?  If I were a Christian or a Muslim or anything, I could spout out the belief system that has been taught to me.  Problem for me is I don't have some book to refer to...I just have life and all that is around me. So, I simply say, "I have no religion, sir." 
"So you are atheist?", he inquires.
"I just don't know what I am.  I'm not fond of labels."
He raised his eyebrows at me and made a "mm-hmm".
So me being the socially awkward person that am decide to lighten the mood a little and before I can stop the words from spewing out of my mouth these word come out:
"Don't worry.", I say, "We aren't satanists or anything like that.  There aren't any baby sacrifices going on here.  If you pull up the carpet, you won't find a pentagram draw on the ground."
He then informs me of this little tidbit of knowledge.  "You know, they have problems with that around here.  People often find mutilated livestock in their fields."  Then he told me he had to run and he left.
For goodness sakes!  Now he probably thinks we are satanists.  Next time he hears of some cattle found mutilated, he'll think of me.  Awesome!  This is why I don't have many friends.
Ironically, later that day there was a knock on my door and who should be standing there?  There on my porch was a church group passing out tracks and asking if they could pray with me.  I declined and they proceeded down the street to pester someone else but not before they left me with some pamphlets even though I told them I don't believe in wasting paper and I will not be reading them. 
These people don't care about my beliefs.  They only care that I don't believe in theirs.  They are like club members and every now and then they have to do membership drives.  God forbid some other religions recruit more!
Oh well.  We've been here for almost six months and I'm bored out of mind.  So if there is anyone out there that lives in the Texhoma area and you aren't looking to "save" me please let me know.


  1. I live in Oklahoma and saving you isn't on my agenda in the foreseeable future. Unless you're on fire or drowning. ;)

  2. Well at least I know if I really need saving, you will help out!


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